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8:37 AM PT: TX-Sen: Fortunately for Democrats, that University of Texas poll turned out to be way wrong, and wealthy dentist David Alameel wound up in first place by a wide margin in Tuesday's night's primary. Unfortunately, he took 47 percent of the vote—just short of the 50 percent mark needed to avoid a runoff. That means he will indeed have to vanquish LaRouchie maniac Kesha Rogers, who finished with 22, in a second round on May 27. (Attorney Maxey Scherr wound up in third place with 18.) However, given how close Alameel came in the initial voting, he should be able to do Rogers in without too much difficulty.

8:49 AM PT: KY-Gov: Former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner, a Republican, just became the first candidate from either party to declare for next year's open seat governor's race in Kentucky. Heiner ran for mayor of Louisville in 2010 but lost by a narrow 51-48 margin to Democrat Greg Fischer. One news report described Heiner as a "millionaire businessman," so he may be able to self-fund, but a poll just the other day showed him starting off well behind another likely Republican contender, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, trailing 42-14 in a hypothetical GOP primary.

9:17 AM PT: IA-Sen: As they do from time to time, PPP looked ahead to 2016 and tested a possible matchup between veteran GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley and Democratic ex-Gov. Tom Vilsack. Grassley remains quite popular, which explains his 48-41 edge over Vilsack and his 51-32 job approval rating. But Vilsack's favorables are decent, at 45-35, and if Grassley were to retire (he'd be 83 on Election Day in '16), Democrats would have a strong pickup shot here.

More immediately, Democrats have the slightest of leads on the generic legislative ballot this year, 41-40. Dems are trying to hang on to their narrow 26-24 majority in the state Senate this year, which won't be an easy chamber to hold. The Republicans, meanwhile, only control the state House 53-47, but their grip on that body is more secure.

10:29 AM PT: MI-Sen: Americans for Prosperity is at it again, with a new ad from Michigan resident Julie Boonstra, a cancer patient whose first spot for the Koch brothers failed to withstand mountains of scrutiny. Now Boonstra and AFP have decided to change strategies and instead simply pound the table:

My name is Julie Boonstra, and I have leukemia. Being diagnosed with the cancer—that was the scariest thing I have ever faced. Because of Obamacare, I am now stuck with a plan that doesn't work for me. My choice was taken away from me. All I want is to be listened to. There are thousands of people out there who are hurting because of Obamacare. When I heard that that Congressman Peters was going after my credibility, it was devastating. I just want Congressman Peters to help me, to listen to me. Instead, he is trying to silence me. Cancer is hard enough. I just want to be happy with my plan, and I want it for everybody else out there that's being hurt by this. I'm trying to speak out for you, and I'm trying to get Washington to listen to us."
Boonstra initially made it sound like her new plan was simply unaffordable, but that didn't hold up. At most, according to Boonstra, her old insurance plan didn't require her to pay much in the way of out-of-pocket expenses. But her premiums were quite high, and as many fact-checkers have noted, the ACA caps out-of-pocket costs annually, so Boonstra's total healthcare expenses haven't changed because her premiums are now much lower.

AFP then started arguing that it's the unpredictability of monthly expenses that's the problem, but Boonstra admitted she doesn't have any numbers to back up this claim because she hasn't been on her new plan long enough. So instead Boonstra is now saying that Democratic Senate candidate Gary Peters is trying to "silence" her, when all his campaign did was request that TV stations obtain documentation from AFP backing up their original ad. (The support AFP did eventually cough up was laughable.)

And of course, AFP is spending $300,000 to air this ad alone and has already shelled out $2 million in Michigan, so Boonstra is far from being silenced. But with her actual claims about Obamacare's failings in tatters, she's fallen back on a purely emotional appeal. Jonathan Chait offered this assessment: "So the new rule in conservative media is that, if you have a terrible enough disease, your claims can be used in attack ads and any reporter who tries to verify them is insensitive to their illness." And any campaign that questions them is engaged in an effort to "silence" the speaker. The sad thing is, this tactic may actually work.

10:45 AM PT: AZ-07: These days, when a politician comes out, it's not really major news—and that's a good thing, needless to say. So ordinarily, I'd pass over the fact that state Sen. Steve Gallardo, who recently declared for the Democratic primary in Arizona's open 7th District, just announced that he's gay (though I don't discount the courage it takes to say so publicly one bit). But there is a potential electoral angle here that's worth a mention. As you know, 9th District Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is thinking about switching to the 7th, and while she'd face serious obstacles, one asset she'd bring to the race is that she's bisexual, and Phoenix actually has a sizable LGBT population.

Sinema's already been endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory fund for re-election—in the 9th. But would they stick with her in the 7th? It's possible they might not, particularly if Gallardo—who, like the majority of the population in the district, is Hispanic—looks more appealing.

11:14 AM PT: NY-Gov: As expected, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has finally announced his campaign for governor, making this one of the clearest instances ever of a candidate whose only goal is to "lose well." Astorino, a Republican who just won re-election last fall, is sure to get smashed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Despite representing a swingy suburban county, Astorino is very conservative (anti-choice, anti-marriage equality) while Cuomo remains broadly popular despite infuriating progressives, and his war chest is beyond enormous. Indeed, early polling shows Cuomo defeating Astorino by an average margin of 62-23.

So what's Astorino's parlay play here? Even if he can somehow hold Cuomo to a "respectable" margin, he wouldn't have a much better shot at another statewide office somewhere else down the line, barring a wave year or a massive Democratic screw-up. As for the House, Astorino's home of Mount Pleasant is in the blue-leaning 17th District; if Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey were to retire (she's 76), he'd make a compelling candidate there, but it's still not a good seat for Republicans. Astorino could also conceivably carpetbag elsewhere in the Hudson Valley, but there's no looming open seat that's really begging for him.

Another, very different alternative would be for Astorino to try to land a media gig—before entering politics, he was a radio host and producer and still keeps a foot in that world. But even after he loses, Astorino will still have three more years to serve as county executive, which would give him plenty of time to plan his next steps, whatever they may be.

11:50 AM PT: Texas: There were only a handful of polls taken before Tuesday night's Texas primaries, and, in fairness, low-turnout affairs such as these are hard to survey. But what little data we had didn't turn out to be particularly accurate, as Steve Singiser details in his new polling post-mortem.

12:10 PM PT: VA-Sen: Roanoke College's new poll finds Democratic Sen. Mark Warner defeating former RNC chief Ed Gillespie 56-29; in mid-January, they had Warner ahead 50-21. But Roanoke has a truly awful track record, so you can't pay them much attention.

12:24 PM PT: TX-Gov: Rasmussen: Wendy Davis (D): 41, Greg Abbott (R): 53.

12:50 PM PT: IL-13: With under two weeks to go before Illinois' March 18 primary, Democrat Ann Callis is releasing a second TV ad, touting her efforts as a judge to "crack[] down on violent criminals" and "stop[] the big banks when they tried to kick families out of their homes." According to Roll Call's sources, Callis' total ad spending is up to $47,000, while her primary rival, physics professor George Gollin, has spent $58,000. Gollin was reportedly set to release a second ad himself, but if he has, it hasn't shown up on his YouTube account yet.

Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Rodney Davis is also on the airwaves, even though former Miss America Erika Harold failed to ever materialize as a real threat. Reflecting that fact, his spot is more geared toward a general election message of wanting to "cut waste, create jobs, and repeal and replace Obamacare."

1:01 PM PT: IL-Gov: We Ask America seems determined to poll the March 18 GOP gubernatorial primary to death, but their latest results tell the same story they have for a long while now: Ultra-wealthy investor Bruce Rauner is running away with the nomination. He now leads with 40 percent, his highest score ever, while his nearest opponent, state Sen. Kirk Dillard, has dropped back to 14. More instructive is this chart that WAA put together of their own polling. That sharp uptick in the green line dating back to last November shows when Rauner first started spending like mad, and he simply never stopped.

Indeed, Rauner's acting like he already has this one in the bag, since he's now running a general election ad aimed at Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. The spot tries to cram in far too many messages at once, accusing Quinn of responsibility for "90,000 jobs lost, massive tax hikes, thousands of children in failing schools, and the worst pension debt and credit rating in America." But the ad's just getting started! The second half features an equally lengthy list of "Rauner's four goals," which are "more jobs, less spending, better schools, and real term limits." This extensive catalog makes the ad feel like a Passover haggadah—and there's a reason why seders aren't 30 seconds long.

1:21 PM PT: IA-Sen: Maybe I'm wrong to view things this way, but I sort of feel like an endorsement from Mitt Romney in a GOP primary would be pretty much equivalent to an endorsement from Joe Lieberman in a Democratic primary, i.e., something nobody wants. I guess I must be wrong, though, because Romney just gave his backing to state Sen. Joni Ernst, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Senate in Iowa. There's a caveat, however, which is that Romney actually sent a fundraising email on Ernst's behalf, apparently to his own list. It's apparently his first such email this cycle, though, which makes you wonder just how active that list still is, since these kinds of lists decay without proper cultivation.

1:37 PM PT: WI-Gov: After getting hammered by the RGA for a few weeks, Democrat Mary Burke is going on the air with her first ad of the campaign. First, the narrator mentions that 930 people work at Trek, the family-owned bicycle company Burke "helped build." Then, he points out that Wisconsin had "72,000 more jobs" when Burke was the state's commerce secretary than today—direct pushback against the RGA's specious (and bogus) claim about the state losing jobs in the "Doyle-Burke Wisconsin." The ad concludes with an attack on GOP Gov. Scott Walker, saying that "unemployment's up" under his tenure and "job prospects are down to 45th in the nation."

1:53 PM PT: FL-13: Democrat Alex Sink has launched what's likely her final ad ahead of next week's special election. She talks directly to the camera (with shots of interaction with reg'lar folks mixed in), mostly about her desire for bipartisanship. The only really specific policy issue she mentions is to "cap flood insurance."

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

    by David Nir on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:00:18 AM PST

  •  VA Sen Roanoke: Warner 56-29 (20+ / 0-)

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:01:54 AM PST

    •  Looks like Gillespie's made it a race! (15+ / 0-)

      Just waiting on the rating change from Rothenberg to Lean D and Cook's concern trolling that VA could be in play.

      •  Non-competitive races are boring; (8+ / 0-)

        competitive ones are not.  That's why the mainstream media and its enablers fall over themselves every single cycle to make races appear competitive even if they're not.  In 2010, I can remember how joke candidate Linda McMahon's bajillions were supposed to make CT-Sen competitive (they didn't, and I doubt she would have won even if the unpopular Chris Dodd had stayed in the race), how John "1,000 Laser Systems" Raese was closing in on Joe Manchin in red-trending WV (he wasn't), and how Christine O'Donnell still had a path to victory in DE (ha!), among other gems.  In 2012, GOP boy wonders Cornelius Harvey McGillicuddy IV and Josh Mandel were ridiculously over-hyped, and joke candidate Linda McMahon was again treated as a non-joke (because she still had bajillions, and Chris Murphy was so much weaker than Blumenthal, y'know); meanwhile, a race that actually was competitive, ND-Sen, slipped almost completely under the radar.

        I'm not trying to downplay the odds we face in 2014.  We're facing quite a few tough races and some likely losses.  But I'm also not taking Charlie Cook as gospel, especially at this early date.

        Stuck in PA-3. Let's defeat "Mike" Kelly and Tom Corbett in 2014!

        by JBraden on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:13:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Raese Definitely Was Closing On Manchin in 2010... (5+ / 0-)

          Fortunately for Manchin, Raese peaked too soon and the spotlight on his candidacy reminded voters what a douchenozzle he was soon enough before the election to give Manchin time to pull away.  Also helped Manchin's cause considerably that Republicans got caught only a few weeks before the election looking for "local hicks" to run in their anti-Manchin ads.

          •  I dunno about that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BoswellSupporter

            I have a few contacts in WV Dem politics. They were never even the slightest bit concerned about that race. They considered Raese a joke.

            •  Several Polls Showed A Trend Towards Raese... (0+ / 0-)

              ....check out the numbers between mid-September and mid-October.  
              http://www.realclearpolitics.com/...

              •  wow Ras polled that race a lot (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mark27, wadingo

                almost all of the polls are from them, and PPP. Only 2 polls showed Manchin winning by double digits, the first from Ras and one from neither Ras nor PPP closer to the end. After mid-September Ras never had Manchin winning by as much as five.

                That tells me the polling was likely bad.

                "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

                by James Allen on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:10:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I wonder if.. (0+ / 0-)

                  something similar is happening in WV. Is it a hard state to poll, like MI or AK or HI?

                  I'm certainly not trying to go the Unskewed Polls route, but some states are notorious for feeding us bad poll data - and I'm not saying the Tennant/Capito polling is closer than it appears. If WV polling is screwed up, then for all we know, Tennant could be getting blown out by 20% right now.

                  TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

                  by Le Champignon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:19:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  At Least In 2004 WV Polls Tilted Dem..... (0+ / 0-)

                    Everybody expected Bush would win there, but the 13-point ultimate margin was pretty jarring.  Beyond that, the state hasn't generally had that many "close" races to judge the polling there.  I believe polling was generally decent on the special gubernatorial election there in 2011 though.

                •  Damn...I Missed That Fox News Was Ras Too..... (0+ / 0-)

                  I always thought Fox had their own pollster....didn't realize they piggybacked on Ras at any time.  That much Ras certainly did skew the polling average more than was ever likely the case.  The CNN Tie and PPP figure tells me there was a time in late September when it was probably quite close though.

              •  What if Raese hit his ceiling? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JBraden

                "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

                by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:55:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Mandel versus Brown (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen, sacman701, jncca

          was a very competitive race, and surprisingly, ended up tacking almost identically to Obama's margin (I thought Brown would do much better in Summit, Lorain, and east-central Ohio than Obama). Connie Mack started off with a lot of momentum, but as his campaign turned into a shit fest, news started largely tunning it out.

          "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

          by ArkDem14 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:49:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Nice numbers (7+ / 0-)

      But is is Roanoke, so salt required.

      I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat

      by OGGoldy on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:40:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh noez! Clearly this race should move to tossup (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBraden, MetroGnome, wadingo, WisJohn
    •  The Gillespie surge (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn, Avedee

      will be starting any day now, if it hasn't already begun. Sen. Warner, be prepared...

      "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

      by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:54:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Heh (0+ / 0-)

      this is good news for future Senator Gillespie. See how vulnerable Warner is!

      TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

      by Le Champignon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:59:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  beltway pundits are (11+ / 0-)

    delusional when they were gushing over a RNC chair and lobbyist who no one outside the country club scene in Washington has ever heard of was going to make the VA Senate race competitive. Talk about  living in a vacuum.

    •  Party Chairmen (0+ / 0-)

      To be fair, Democrats have had some pretty good success with former DNC chairmen in Virginia elections in recent years. Can't fault the Republicans for wanting to recreate the success.

      I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat

      by OGGoldy on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:39:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes we can fault them, it's not parallel (13+ / 0-)

        When was there ever a poll showing McAuliffe losing VA-Gov by 27 points?  Of course that's rhetorical, there never was.

        McAuliffe tried hard to sell his "business background," even despite the mixed bag that image carries in his case as he's viewed by a lot of people as more self-dealing than entrepreneurial.  But at least he had his business investment background to sell.

        McAuliffe also ran against a deeply flawed opponent, and in an open seat contest.

        These three things are massive differences.  The biggest one is simply that challenging incumbent Mark Warner is nothing like running for an open office.  Nothing at all.  But the difference in resumes also matters, Gillespie really is nothing more than a political hack...nothing at all.  His money comes from lobbying, that's it.  McAuliffe actually has, believe it or not, a lifetime of relationships with people in business who are not much into politics.  Gillespie can't say even that much.

        That Republicans and so many political journalists think that there is a real parallel here is fatally flawed thinking.

        46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:57:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I maintain they figured he was low risk. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh

      Unlikely to win, sure, but then who is? The goal, then, was to not make a bunch of insane statements and hurt anyone else running.

      "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

      by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:58:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gillespie (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gabjoh, wadingo, jncca

        I don't think anyone is dogging the GOP for putting him up. If you're going to lose, at least lose with someone who won't embarrass the party. They're dogging the media for saying that Gillespie puts the seat in play.

        SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:36:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I know. (0+ / 0-)

          "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

          by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:57:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe the thinking is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bjssp

        the need to replenish their bench, with no statewide officeholders.  Of last year's ticket only Obenshain seems plausibly electable in the future, and they may not want to rely on retreads.

        Mark Warner himself was state party chair with no electoral experience before he ran for Senate; a good showing against a popular incumbent set him up nicely for governor in 2001, when Dems had no statewide offices.

        38, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

        by Mike in MD on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:57:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  NH-Sen: I really just wish this guy would put (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBraden, DCCyclone, wadingo, HoosierD42

    up or shut up.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

    I'm seriously tired of everyday having to hear a new report about whether Scott Brown will run or not. All this endless back-and-forth makes me think he won't run and is only playing the media for attention in the same way Donald Trump does with his political ambitions.

    •  When is New Hampshire's filling deadline? (0+ / 0-)

      That's the only thing that's going to make these stories go away

    •  All just a striptease for attention. (0+ / 0-)

      When turning a polar plunge into a shirtless photo-op fails, 'tis the logical next step to turn to fake Senate runs.

      Stuck in PA-3. Let's defeat "Mike" Kelly and Tom Corbett in 2014!

      by JBraden on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:20:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My Hunch Has Always Been..... (0+ / 0-)

      .....that moving to another state is a pretty significant undertaking just to mess with your political rivals if you're not planning to really run, so I'm still leaning towards him declaring his candidacy before the filing deadline.  Cory Gardner certainly succeeded in drawing more attention to his campaign rollout with his elaborate headfake, so it appears Republican Senate candidates may have a flare for the dramatic this year.

    •  There is also an article today on Bob Smith's (0+ / 0-)

      campaign for the Senate in the Concord Monitor.

      http://www.concordmonitor.com/...

      I was under the impression he had decided not to run, but I guess that's not the case...

    •  He did the same last year (0+ / 0-)

      when he disputed a report saying he was going to run for the special to replace Kerry.

      “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

      by KingofSpades on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:22:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's just Brown being Brown (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      clevelandpacha, JBraden, wadingo

      He's a narcissist who loves the attention. The Male Sarah Palin. (That might be slanderous to Palin, actually, who actually did have some accomplishments in office.)

      •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BoswellSupporter

        Brown actually comes off as a decent guy, if overly in love with himself and overhyped politically.  Palin may have had some accomplishments until she joined the national ticket, but since then has often been flat-out offensive to those who don't support or agree with her (i.e. most of the country.)  And nowadays when she doesn't come off as offensive, she at least seems flat-out stupid or delusional.

        38, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

        by Mike in MD on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:25:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It might also be... (4+ / 0-)

      That Brown is waiting until the last minute to see which way the political winds are shifting. He can't afford another loss and still be taken seriously as a politician (heck, I don't take him seriously now). Shaheen would be a tough opponent, and I think you'd need signs of some sort of Republican wave brewing to have a chance at taking her down.  

      But it's honestly making him look silly. Not that has ever stopped him before...

      •  I still chuckle at his stop in Iowa last summer (3+ / 0-)

        where he introduced himself as the guy who "took Kennedy's seat."  Not the people's seat, after all?  It was a fabrication like your pickup truck that you used to tow your daughter's pony and realized it could be a useful prop.

        “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

        by KingofSpades on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:59:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  MD Gov: Gansler, Brown going on the air (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Both campaigns are going to start running TV ads this week.

    Gansler's is a $200K buy in the DC & Baltimore markets. 60 seconds of accomplishment's.

    Brown is sending out their ad today and it will be on the air by the end of the week. No word on how big his buy is.

  •  PA-Gov: Crucial Waukesha County Poll (6+ / 0-)

    Allentown Morning Call:

    The Republican governor's job approval rating in Lehigh and Northampton counties is 36 percent, up 3 percentage points from last year but still historically and dangerously low for an incumbent....

    In 2010, Corbett beat Democrat Dan Onorato in Lehigh and Northampton counties by a combined 16,623 votes — or nearly 55 percent of all ballots cast. That margin of victory in the Valley was nearly identical to Corbett's statewide results.

    "We are a great bellwether for the overall performance of the state," said Chris Borick, Muhlenberg College pollster and political science professor. "It's hard to win Pennsylvania and not win the Lehigh Valley."

    The poll found Corbett's disapproval rating also went up a bit — to 40 percent — since a Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll last year. Fully a quarter of Valley respondents said they remain unsure about how Corbett is doing his job.

    The latest poll is based on the views of 403 adults in Lehigh and Northampton counties. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points and was conducted between Feb. 15 and Saturday.

  •  IA-SEN: I could see Vilsack running (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    markhanna, ArkDem14, wadingo, abgin

    regardless of what Grassley does.

    Vilsack has nothing to lose politically. He was a two term governor, and will have spent 6+ years as Agriculture Secretary before launching a run.

    If Grassley sees a single digit race against Vilsack, he might decide to retire.

    If not, maybe Vilsack wins. If not, then he can retire, go to the private sector, maybe get another cabinet position if Clinton is president.

    •  I've felt for a while like Grassley will either (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh, askew, Avedee, abgin

      retire or get beaten, because his grip on politics has, for a long time now, been a bit looser than it used to be and I feel like he would not run a good disciplined campaign against the likes of Vilsack.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:54:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      Until now the Vilsack family is keeping living the brand, I think this is the race that they really want.

      As yo tell to be in single digits now is very positive. Also he can be a strong candidate in the money front attracting outside money to the race and 2016 ca be a good year for the Democratic Party.

      Finally, I also think that C Grassley can decide to retire having the pressure of a true race.

  •  NY-Gov (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jacques Kallis, James Allen, bythesea

    Andrew Cuomo and state senate Republican's worst nightmare comes true....Rob Astorino is running! Poor Cuomo, he might actually have to campaign and as a consequence might able to drag a Democratic state senate majority across the finish line.

    ALBANY — Entering a field thus far empty of Republican contenders, Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, formally announced his candidacy for governor on Wednesday, beginning a campaign to unseat Andrew M. Cuomo, the popular and well-funded incumbent.

    Mr. Astorino made his announcement via a video posted online at 11 a.m., and plans to begin his campaign with an inaugural event in the Bronx on Thursday, followed by trips to several upstate cities.

    In the announcement, Mr. Astorino made it clear he intends to attack Mr. Cuomo on a variety of issues, but will make the economy, taxes and jobs central to his campaign, mentioning other states like Florida and North Dakota as models for growth.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

    by ehstronghold on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:47:05 AM PST

    •  Because if there's one thing New York (19+ / 0-)

      has going for it, it's a massive oil boom.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:53:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cuomo's already doing (0+ / 0-)

        the standard stuff that other governors are doing in regards to trying to help depressed areas (tax incentives for new companies, in some cases tied to the areas surrounding SUNY campuses) and running an ad campaign highlighting such moves. He's also taken a lot of steps to ease the tax burden, some of them very, very aggressive.

        I don't recall anything off the top of my head in regards to fracking, so I won't mention that, but really, whether or not you agree with him, he's probably pleased everyone except the far left and the very, very far right. So what is Astorino going to do to differentiate himself? Campaign against the Medicaid expansion that he would never be able to reverse? Say taxes weren't cut enough? Say the minimum wage isn't high enough? Say it isn't low enough? Say Cuomo is too sociall conservative? Say he's too pro-gun control? Say he's not for enough gun control? Gay marriage is already legal, so that isn't an issue, and trying to say he's against it will get him laughed out of the room.

        Basically, Astorino is in the position of being outflanked on both sides, to the point where he runs to the far right and manages to not crack 30 percent or tries to run to the left...in a Republican primary. Good luck, Rob.

        "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

        by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:05:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  oil (0+ / 0-)

        and year-round golf, just like in Florida.

        SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:17:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  WFP. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gygaxian

        The Working Families Party exists to push back against Democrats like Cuomo, but they aren't doing anything. They could make a bigger name for themselves by running a candidate to the left of Cuomo, even if that candidate would likely be defeated.

        The WFP has become like a lot of other ostensibly left-wing organizations. They work with powerful Democrats in the hope that the Democrats will throw them a bone once in a while, but never actually withdraw support from right-wing Democrats. Most labor unions operate under the same method. It's failing.

        Does anyone think that Cuomo will change his governing style when the WFP gives him their line?

        Impractical progressive Democrat.

        by redrelic17 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:50:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The number of votes a party line receives for gov (5+ / 0-)

          determines it's height on the ballot, and they need to break 50000 to maintain automatic ballot access.

          Plus, the green party has automatic ballot access again so they'd be splitting any third party leftist vote.

          Instead they'll probably endorse Cuomo and try to convince people to vote for him on their line to send a message on a specific issue. They'll get more result for their time working to beat Klein anyway.

          •  Ballot access as an ends to itself. (0+ / 0-)

            I hope they're not going to try to say "Vote for Cuomo. That'll teach him a lesson!" That would be a joke.

            Impractical progressive Democrat.

            by redrelic17 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 11:41:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Echoing what nonsensoleum said (0+ / 0-)

              If it were any other race, sure, but Governor is what determines ballot lines for the next four years, and there's not enough discontent for a left challenger to get 5% of the vote under their line just yet. In four years, I'd love to see someone endorsed by Green and WFP take on Cuomo if he runs for a third term.

              "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive (not liberal) | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 | Yard signs don't vote. | $15 and a union!

              by gabjoh on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:13:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Why did Cuomo not want this again? (5+ / 0-)

      Astorino is socially conservative, and he doesnt want that to hurt moderate GOP senators?

      •  Yeah, can't quite figure that out. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jj32

        Also, is Astorino a relative of the the old money tycoon Astor family?

        “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

        by KingofSpades on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:03:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bingo (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jj32, KingTag, KingofSpades, wadingo, itskevin

        I'll let this quote from a NY Times article I linked back a week ago do the talking:

        [...] A third explanation, however, is full of palace intrigue: A number of people who have spoken to Mr. Cuomo say he also has expressed his desire to ensure that his eventual opponent is not far to the right on social issues. This, he has argued, could alienate moderate Republicans and other voters so much that Republican candidates for the State Senate could suffer too, potentially costing Republicans control of the chamber.
        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

        by ehstronghold on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:04:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So weird (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gabjoh, ArkDem14

          With anyone other than Cuomo, I would dismiss this theory.

          I wonder if Astorino is even that conservative on social issues? Westchester is a relatively Dem county on the federal level.

          •  It's important to remember that NY Republicans (0+ / 0-)

            are pretty socially liberal, probably more so than even many other Northeastern Republicans. I'm not saying his alleged theory is definitely right, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's on to something.

            "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

            by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:14:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh yeah, that part is correct (0+ / 0-)

              I meant, with any other Dem, you dismiss the fact that they were trying to keep the GOP in power. Not with Cuomo though.

              I still wonder how socially conservative Astorino is.

    •  North Dakota? (5+ / 0-)

      Isn't saying, "We should follow the North Dakota model!" the equivalent of starting a sentence with, "After I win the lottery..." Kind of hard to replicate that minus the natural resource boom.

      •  There's fracking. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

        by kurykh on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:18:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If so, he's not the only one (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark27

        to miss the point.  Rick Perry is only one of the most recent examples of those who for decades have been saying everyone should try to copy Texas' policies, never mind the fact that energy and natural resources give the state some advantages that can't always be replicated.  In fact trying to imitate that state's economic and social policies would be disastrous to many, maybe most, other states, but that's another discussion.

        38, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

        by Mike in MD on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:21:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perry's been (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WisJohn, ArkDem14, uclabruin18

          practicing a state-level industrial policy on a scale seemingly like no other state. A 2012 NYT investigation found around $80 billion of state and local subsidies, $19 billion of which was handed out by the various levels of government in Texas.

          It's really kind of amazing that so few people mention this stuff--not here, but in general--when discussing the issue of business climates. It's gotten to the point where any time you hear of a major expansion in a state, your first question should be, "How much did they get?"

          "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

          by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:26:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Another poll (11+ / 0-)

    Another massive record number in favor of same-sex marriage.

    Washington Post / NBC News finds support for marriage equality at 59%-34% nationwide.  The crosstabs are nuts:

    Democrats: 70-26%
    Independents: 61-32%
    Republicans: 40-54% (really?)

    Liberals: 82-13%
    Moderate: 64-27%
    Conservative: 39-54%

    Female: 63-30%
    Male: 54-38%

    18-39 years old: 72-22% (holy shit)
    40-64 years old: 54-38%
    65+: 47-33%

    Northeast: 68-26%
    Midwest: 66-28%
    South: 50-42% (can't believe this)
    West: 59-32%

  •  Grassley should be targeted in 2016 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin

    even if he doesn't retire. Why? Read on.

    In a post yesterday, I described how a romp by our candidate at the top of the ticket might enable our candidate to beat Grassley. Check the numbers for yourself. Now that I think about it, actually, I suspect they might be understated, if the bottom falls out for Republicans and their turnout drops a lot.

    He's definitely not in the top three, and maybe not in the top six, of targets, but he shouldn't be given a free pass because he looks intimidating.

    Which brings me to my next question: when was the last time he was seriously challenged? He won against Culver in  1980, of course, but that isn't what I am referring to.

    Looking back at his history, I think it's safe to say he's never been seriously challenged. His opponents don't appear to have been Alvin Greene-types, but were they serious? They certainly didn't raise much money, if I had to guess (if you know where to get info from decades ago, please let me know).

    I think he gets this aura of invincibility because nobody has tried to take him down, to make him fight like a dog for his seat.  He's a pretty decent fit for the state, despite perhaps being a touch more conservative than he lets on.

    I have no idea who our candidate might be in 2016, whether or not he runs. As I said yesterday, I don't think he's going to be easy to defeat if he runs, but so far, he's been given something of a free pass.

    Let's start from the most recent election and go backwards:

    2010:

    It was probably this year, believe it or not. Conlin had a decent background for a candidate, even if she stumbled, and she did raise a decent chunk of money. Not as much as Grassley, of course, but far more than Arthur Small in 2004 (see below): $3.152 million to his $7.7 million. Maybe it was just a matter of her being able to get her message out and/or some residual effect from OFA in 2008, but she did better than Democrat running against Grassley since 1986.

    The problem is, she got 33.30 percent of the vote.

    2004:

    Oy. I get this wasn't a Democratic year, Arthur Small was a former state senator, not some random person. In addition to raising almost no money, $136,204 to Grassley's $7.6 million, he managed to get only 27.88 percent of the vote. I'm not sure of the particulars of this race, so maybe Small fouled up in some pretty big way, but whatever the case, this was not a serious challenge.

    1998:

    At least David Osterberg managed to crack 30 percent--30.49 percent, to be exact. I haven't found any fundraising information, but I can't think he raised a lot.

    1992:

    Another state senator, Jean-Lloyd Jones, and another failure to crack 30 percent, at 27.20 percent. Ditto in regards to fundraising.

    1986:

    Hey, we cracked 30 percent again!  John P. Roehrick was/is an attorney in Iowa. I know nothing more about him. Ditton in regards to fundraising.

    "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

    by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:56:20 AM PST

    •  Add to this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bjssp, gabjoh, abgin

      the inevitable primary challenge. Tea Partiers have this down to an art: challenge a really old establishment senator who doesn't have much fight left in him, attack him for working with Democrats or ever supporting anything like Obamacare or backing TARP (all of which can be leveled at Grassley). Bob Bennett, Dick Lugar, Thad Cochran (probably), all of this mold. Grassley so fits it too.

      •  Very, very good point. (0+ / 0-)

        "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

        by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:43:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Does Liz Cheney have any connection to Iowa? (5+ / 0-)

        Not that it'd matter, of course.

        "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

        by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:49:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If The Tea Party Challenges Grassley..... (0+ / 0-)

        .....it'll only be because of his age.  Tea Party groups in Iowa are publicly elated with his sharp right turn in recent years.

        •  They held Jon Cornyn (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          abgin, James Allen

          one of the top 5 most conservative senators in the chamber, to 59% yesterday against a collection of absolute jokes.

          I think Grassley might be in for a challenge if someone serious gets in.  Republicans can't help themselves.

          •  In Texas The Tea Party Has The Benefit..... (0+ / 0-)

            ....of knowing that whoever has the (R) next to their name on the general election ballot is likely to win.  A Tea Party purist probably won't win statewide in Iowa, so I suspect they'll be happy with what they got with Grassley who in the last several years has toed the line of their agenda pretty much under the noses of the public.  Frankly I'm still not convinced Grassley plans to run again in 2016 despite his claims to the contrary.

            •  Since when did that stop the Tea Party? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gabjoh, James Allen, propjoe

              They've nominated nutcases over saner people in many swing states recently (NV, CO, MO). They even did that in a blue state (DE)! The Tea Party will support the furthest-right candidate regardless of the politics of the state.

              I could see Grassley get a strong Tea Party challenge from (we can only hope) Steve King. Or if not him, maybe Bob Vander Plaaaaaaaats. But I think that some Tea Partier will definitely challenge Grassley.

              (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

              by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 03:06:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Considering The Republicans Had To Dip..... (0+ / 0-)

                ....into the fourth tier of the candidate pool to find a candidate running for an open seat in this year's general election, I doubt that there will be a Tea Party challenge if Grassley chooses to run.  King may end up kicking himself for not running this year if Braley starts looking vulnerable.  If ever King was gonna win, it was gonna be in a lower-turnout midterm.

    •  I doubt we can beat him (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca

      but he should be challenged because then he's more likely to retire.

      "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

      by James Allen on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:50:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What makes you think he's hard to beat (0+ / 0-)

        or at least harder to beat than I think he is?

        I don't want to make it seem like I have split the atom with numbers I fleshed out in 15 minutes, but as I think I showed yesterday, a solid performance amongst Democrats and a slight win with Indies, with good but not necessarily huge turnout on our side, and he goes down. Maybe the exit polling info was off in 2008, but if it's more or less on target, then doesn't look like we've peaked in regards to turnout.

        I also don't think it's possible to argued he's been seriously challenged in a long time, possibly ever. I'm happy to admit if I've missed something in regards to what I sketched above, but a casual glance suggest he's never been a top target.

        "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

        by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 11:01:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  he hasn't been seriously challenged because (0+ / 0-)

          nobody thinks they can beat him. They were probably right about that.

          "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

          by James Allen on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 11:06:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's basically circular reasoning. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kleinburger

            Not on your part, but on the part of those who might challenge him.

            What I'm saying is that he looks harder to beat than he is. Maybe I am wrong, but again, nobody has challenged him in a thorough way in, well, basically ever.

            It's very similar to Paul Ryan, come to think of it. He looks hard to beat, because he's a fairly if not radically conservative guy representing a D-leaning area (not as much as it used to be, but hardly deep red) that keeps getting elected by big margins. Yet, has he ever really been challenged? I don't think so, based on the amount of money his challengers have raised, with the exception of Zerban in 2012. (Money isn't everything, but for a few reasons, it's probably the best basic indicator we have of how serious a challenger is.) The length of time both of these guys have spent in office has definitely helped, as it would with any incumbent, but that's verging close to a house of cards built on a foundation of sand. The longer we go without pulling out a card, the stronger the whole thing seems. If haven't mixed my metaphors enough, it's time to find our big bad wolf and blown down Goldilock's house.

            "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

            by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 11:24:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  it's not circular reasoning (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Stephen Wolf, DCCyclone

              it's not wanting to make a fruitless run for office, wasting a lot of time and money, just to inevitably lose in the end. Campaigns are hard on people, especially when there's no hope. If they think they will not win, there is little reason for them to run. I think Vilsack has a much better idea than you or I if he could compete with Grassley, and if he thinks he has a shot or can intimidate Grassley into retiring, then that's what matters, not what you or I think.

              "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

              by James Allen on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 11:47:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Chuck Grassley isn't Jim Gerlach. (0+ / 0-)

                It is circular reasoning, at least up to a point. (Again, not on your part.) Do you really, truly believe he's been given a complete challenge? I don't, and I'd be curious to see why someone as sharp as you might, if you in fact do. I get why this might not be the case, and I am not judging anyone for not taking him on. I'm just saying that we've put up little more than token opposition since his first race, when he defeated an incumbent. Perhaps they were good candidates, but they had no money until Conlin, who ran in 2010 of all years.

                The circular reasoning comes in in that people think he's never been given a good fight, because he looks very strong, because he's never been a good fight. At least that's how I look at how people view the races and his candidacy.

                Maybe he's been lucky in that he's always been up when we've struggled for candidates or something, but again, tell me when was seriously challenged, like Kerry in 1996, for instance? I think another good comparison is Jim Gerlach. You could quite easily say he's invincible since, if I am not confusing him with Dent or one of other of the other PA guys, we've thrown everything we have at him in very good cycles and still didn't win. The same doesn't apply to Grassley.

                While my numbers referenced above are just a rough outline, I don't think they are anything too unbelievable.

                "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

                by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:42:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I didn't say he'd been challenged (0+ / 0-)

                  I just said there was a reason he hadn't been challenged.

                  And actually he is Jim Gerlach, didn't you hear? Gerlach retired when he realized he could no longer keep up the charade of being both at the same time and decided being Chuck Grassley was more fun because he got to say crazy shit with no consequences.

                  "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

                  by James Allen on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:54:03 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The reason Grassley hasn't been challenged (0+ / 0-)

                    is that people think he's too powerful to challenge. Hence my comment about circular reasoning. For many reasons, many of them definitely understandable, I think they've let him build up an image of him being more powerful than he is.

                    Or maybe he is really that powerful. I don't think he is, but it wouldn't surprise me. We just can't say that for sure, because we've never tried.

                    "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

                    by bjssp on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 07:13:47 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with BJSSP (0+ / 0-)

            Conlin lost so bad partially because it was 2010.

            In any case, Grassley has made miscues and offensive statements the past few years, and he's continued to ally himself more with the Ted Cruz wing of the party even than the establishment conservatives. He's not a good fit for the state, and he'll be 83. Age becomes an issue when you run that old, especially in swing states. My general point earlier, was that I don't think Grassley is ready for a real campaign against a well-known, well-connected, and savvy politician who will bring the full-brunt of national resources with them. I don't think he can debate, campaign, charm editorial boards, and the like well enough to win even if he tries, and that's assuming he avoids a Paulist primary.

            "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

            by ArkDem14 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:52:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I think now there is a difference (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Allen

            The Democratic Party has a very strong candidate. With the time T Vilsack has been building his position, and I see him in the strongest point of his career. Even when he was in a tie with T Branstad when both were polled.

            If T Vilsack runs, and I see the family wishing a race, I think IA-Sen would be a very competitive race.

            I'm optimistic about IL-Sen, WI-Sen, PA-Sen, NH-Sen and IA-Sen for 2016. The other options give me lower confidance. FL-Sen can be also a good option, but the Democratic bench can be less strong.

    •  He's Basically A Tea Partier At This Point..... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingTag, itskevin, DCCyclone, askew

      .....whatever moderate credentials that defined Grassley's brand have been shelved for the last several years.  I can't think of the last time he didn't vote with the right on any issue.  Even Iowa Tea Party groups are taking notice too, saying they can't find a single vote from the Obama era with which they take issue with Grassley.

      •  Yes, and yet his brand remains strong as ever (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JBraden, Mark27

        He's been around for so long and still has that "aw shucks" air about him that he can vote that way and never get in trouble for it with voters.

        Grassley is a Senator for as long as he wants it.  I put the seat at "safe R" until he retires.  I realize it's hard for people who've never lived in Iowa to "get it" regarding Grassley's image, but you and I who do or have lived there know it well.  Everyone just likes Grassley, no matter what he says and does in his policy positions and votes.  He's pretty much in the same boat in Iowa as Mark Warner in Virginia.

        46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:22:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Grassley being like Warner crossed my mind, but (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think they are in exactly the same boat. I hate to harp on this, but I really can't believe people are arguing, however implicitly, that he's been seriously challenged. To me, that's the crucial difference. If, however, Virginia Republicans get their shit together and someone decent challenges him, it might be a different story. He might not look so scary. There's no guarantee it'll work and that he'll be defeated, but he might get better challengers.

          "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

          by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:35:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

      Harkin for his first three reelection campaigns was always targeted even though he defeated an incumbent by a larger margin than grassley did.

      formerly demographicarmageddon

      by bonzo925 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:44:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Grassley (0+ / 0-)

      Chuck Grassley doesn't have the Washington D.C. feel to him of a Dick Lugar or a Pat Roberts.  The man lives and breathes Iowa, if that makes sense.  It probably doesn't to many of you.

      He doesn't get a stiff challenge because you have to prove that he doesn't listen to his constituents.  Republicans try to beat Tom Harkin and Attorney General Tom Miller on ideological grounds all of the time.  Why doesn't this work?  Because they answer any question that you have and they know how to make damn near anyone feel comfortable.

      Chuck Grassley has that same appeal, he doesn't agree with the Tea Party on pork matters (literary and figuratively) and any time a non-ideological hardliner with an agenda calls his office, they find extremely capable people as you do with Senator Harkin's office.

      Will Chuck Grassley get a tough challenge?  I think he certainly will.  Roxanne Conlin struggled to answer basic questions about Social Security, Iran and other issues in public appearances.  I got the impression that she did not want to run, but felt an obligation to do so.

      Except for Conlin and Small, you are basically talking about past challengers that only had a message that appealed to Iowa City (the most progressive town in the state IMO. )  Small had a message that appealed to no one really, being a former pharmaceutical lobbyist.

      There's nothing wrong with running an Iowa City candidate, but even communities that are larger than IC look at it with a very skeptical eye, just reporting my point of view.  

      IA-2 Born, raised, currently reside.

      by BoswellSupporter on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:47:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Grassley was mocked last year... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BoswellSupporter

        ...for hitting a deer with his car, and his famous tweet afterward "assume deer dead."

        That screams out "not Washington."

        So yes, he's not going to have any kind of problem as Lugar or Roberts.

        46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:19:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let's talk Texas for a minute (7+ / 0-)

    Last night was a big ball of suck. Anyone who lives in Texas will tell y'all, as Democrats, Dailykos and the national media missed the biggest race.

    Lon Burnam, the heart and soul of the Democratic caucus lost last night to a guy who is a sleaze ball and a republican by 111. The reason: Lon isn't Hispanic. Lon created the house democratic caucus to help elect democrats to the Texas legislature and was easily the most progressive member. The new guy, Romero, was recruited by Domingo Garcia, was abusive to Burnam's female staffers, and has GOP donation history. This is the headline.

    Also, as Evan smith and Michael Ali pointed out in kinder terms on twitter last night, the New York Times is full of shit. Establishment republicans lost as tea party people won up and down the ballot. Lt Gov: Patrick. AG: Paxton. Comptroller: Hegar. Agriculture: Miller. Railroad: Christian. These are not the people that wanted the jobs. These are folks who wants to be social conservatives and go extreme. Also, every GOP House incumbent that lost, lost to a tea Partier except George Lavender in HD1, he lost to a pro education candidate. Throw in Carona losing in SD16 and Deull is in a runoff with a no body from the hard right in SD2, the extreme won big last night.

    Dallas, most incumbent qualified judges lost to incompetent newcomers. Cause, diversity.

    Alameel is in a runoff with Kesha.

    The qualified candidate for agriculture commissioner landed in 3rd place. Now a runoff between two jokes.

    On, in Austin, my entire skate lost.

    Harris county is the only place I'm happy with the results. In HD23, the GOP picked the more extreme candidate, so we have a 50/50 shot at holding Eiland's seat at least.

    Voters are idiots. Let's go back to conventions.

    SSP alumni, 29, Male, Democrat, TX-14 Elections Blogger for Burnt Orange Report. Collection of Texas elections diaries can be found here

    by trowaman on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:00:03 AM PST

    •  Or at least close the primaries somewhat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, gabjoh

      Alameel will still win, though.  Rogers is a nutjob.

      I just hope that an increasingly extreme GOP in the state can start turning places like Tarrant, Harris, and Williamson County more our way.

      Who is our candidate for Eiland's seat?

      “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

      by KingofSpades on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:08:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Susan Criss for Eiland (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, KingofSpades, bjssp, ArkDem14

        Long time Galveston County Judge, resigned to run.

        Alameel may win, but we still have to hear about it for months. Nice narrative "Texas Dems so incompetent a LaRouchie is in a runoff"

        I don't feel like hearing that, especially as Austin activists were saying "I'm spitting Scherr to make it a runoff between her and Alameel" cause they feel that's more likely that Alameel winning outright.

        Idiots. Voters are idiots.

        SSP alumni, 29, Male, Democrat, TX-14 Elections Blogger for Burnt Orange Report. Collection of Texas elections diaries can be found here

        by trowaman on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:21:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Fort Bend is also (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingofSpades

        a very important county Democrats need to swing. To win statewide Democrats need registration and GOTV in this county to be running full steam, and to win it at least 55-45.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:55:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Can you elaborate more on Burnam? (0+ / 0-)

      "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

      by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:11:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In What way? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bjssp, ArkDem14

        This is the race every Texas democrat is crying about, rightfully, today.

        Burnam was the kick nice of the house caucus, except people liked him. Wonderful happy personality, did more to elect other Dems with time and effort than any other incumbent, whatever the issue was he was to the left of you. Last session he partnered with some republicans to try and find a way to make Medicaid expansion possible, that was his 2013 baby.

        Gay rights, drugs, prisons, environment: he was all about reform on all those issues. Had the support of Tarrant County Reps. Christ Turner and Nicole Collier, pushing for his re elections. Its a damn shame Veasey and Wendy were silent for him, considering how much he did for them previously and they loved hanging with him in the last.

        And Romero: some hack ass who is a businessman who just wants power. No issue, nothing Burnam did wrong other than not being born brown. Will be a conservative Dem.

        SSP alumni, 29, Male, Democrat, TX-14 Elections Blogger for Burnt Orange Report. Collection of Texas elections diaries can be found here

        by trowaman on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:18:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bj is always looking for a silver lining (0+ / 0-)

          But it doesn't sound like there was one here. Sorry, man. I'm all for more diverse representation in legislatures, but not at the expense of progressive politics.

          (to your credit, bj, btw).

          •  In this case, I was just curious (0+ / 0-)

            about the particulars. I hadn't followed the primaries at all, and trowaman seems to be clued in to the details, so I figured I could ask him and save myself a little time.

            More laziness than optimism, lol.

            I still have to read through the threads from last night.

            "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

            by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:33:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  "not being born brown"? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen, Midwest Leftist, askew

          Really? I am so sick of white progressives on this site dismissing Latino and Black voters because they don't align with their privledge ass activist interests. I am not necessarily saying this in response to this post but I have noticed a general trend of DK posters shedding tears whenever anti-NSA stuff takes a backseat to ethnic issues or bread and butter issues and it is infuriating. In all honesty, I will vote for a less progressive Mexican over a more progressive white guy and I am sick of posts that implicitly shame me for this.

          •  I would not vote for Romero (0+ / 0-)

            Nevertheless, it is important to take into consideration that the Democratic Party is a big tent and that Mexican-Americans are arguably the most traditionally leftist voting bloc in the country. Don't be dismissive, we saved you from Mitt Romney...

          •  yeah I was thinking (5+ / 0-)

            the "not being born brown" line sounded kinda similar to Romney fretting that he'd be president already if he was just lucky enough to be Hispanic.  You don't need me to explain that this is a touchy issue and there's been related arguments in the past on DKE over the sometimes conflicting goals of increasing minority representation versus voting for the most progressive representatives.  Advocates for the latter have done a disservice to their side at times by wading into paternalism...I remember someone actually saying they'd be perfectly okay with every single member of the US Congress being white, as long as they "voted right", and that non-whites would be benefited by this arrangement.  Needless to say, "voting right" is a subjective thing and I think a lot of white liberals would be surprised to find that their definitions are not always exactly the same as those of non-white Democrats.  Yet there's an expectation that non-white Democrats will just vote for whoever white liberals think is the best candidate.

            I don't know the specifics of the Burnam-Romero race.  I understand trowaman's frustration, but I think we need to remember that our frustration can come across badly and even condescendingly towards minorities.  Like I said, I don't know the specifics of that district, but quite a few other Latino-majority congressional seats in Texas have sent moderates to Congress (Henry Cuellar, Filemon Vela, Pete Gallego, Solomon Ortiz, and even Ciro Rodriguez was to the right of many Democrats).  At some point we have to accept that they simply might prefer these types of representatives, despite our desires that they all elect Bernie Sanders based on their Democratic partisanship.

            I consider myself an advocate of both of the goals I stated above...getting the most progressive representative, AND increasing minority representation.  Luckily, they often overlap.  But sometimes they don't.  Then it gets tricky.

          •  First.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jncca

            you talk about "white progressives" dismissing Latinos/Blacks, then on the other hand, proudly admit that you put the color of one's skin over the purity of one's mind.

            If this is what the civil rights movement has become, I'm ashamed of it. It's a mockery of what Dr. King had in mind when he talked about a post-racial America. Voting based on skin color is wrong no matter if you're voting for a white guy or a black guy.

            TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

            by Le Champignon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 03:21:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is getting far off horserace (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Skaje, gabjoh, James Allen

              Race and political representation is an emotional topic and very important to many people here, and it deserves to be discussed somewhere, but here's not a good place.

              These topics tend to just turn into the same arguments over and over (Schatz-Hannabusa anyone?) and just bring out a lot of negative feelings the longer they go on.

              Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident).

              by Jeff Singer on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 03:45:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's what the textbooks teach you (6+ / 0-)

              but it's a fallacy to think that Dr. King's main goal was for everyone to just ignore race (this "post-racial" idea).  What he wanted was justice and equality for his persecuted people.  The goal of the civil rights movement wasn't the "I don't even see race, I'm colorblind!" mentality you hear from so many white people who seem content to think that racism is over.  It was never about getting people to ignore race...it was about getting people to confront these inherent racial inequalities, and take steps to fix them.

              People have such a strange idea of what the civil rights movement was about, and I truly do blame the textbooks, because I remember learning the same thing in grade school, and it wasn't until later that I got a better understanding of it, and a more nuanced view of what racism really is.  But it wasn't easy.  I had to seek out that information.

              Anyway.  It's easy to feel superior in your knowledge that you don't ever consider race in your voting.  But to other people who are expected to just be okay with the sheer dominance of white politicians in this country, and who actually care about getting a more representative government, it comes across as very condescending.

            •  You are putting words in my mouth (0+ / 0-)

              I never said that. I said that I would vote for a less progressive Mexican candidate over a more progressive white candidate. This is not about skin color, this is about ethnic underrepresentation that has tremendous consequences for undocumented immigrants and farmworkers who are consistently ignored by the political establishment. This is also my stance because I want to increase civic participation of Mexicans so this country can become a country we can be proud about instead of a nation that derides us and characterizes our contributions to American culture in terms of cuisine alone. America isn't post-race or post-ethnicity and it certainly hasn't fulfilled the vision of MLK. Until this changes, ethnic and racial voting will remain the relevant and useful tool of the oppressed.

              •  But almost by definition, any "less progressive" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sapelcovits

                candidate will be worse for undocumented immigrants and farmworkers and all people of color, because the policies they promote will be worse. I think pure colorblindness in an unfair society is its own form of racism, but you're a bit off in your assessment.

                "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive (not liberal) | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 | Yard signs don't vote. | $15 and a union!

                by gabjoh on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:23:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Join the Club (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14

      We've had that problem for years down here in Bexar County.  We lose good incumbents in March only to have the bench go Republican in November.

      I don't know how accurate it is, but there was an editorial in the Dallas Morning News about DA Craig Watkins running a slate of candidates challenging incumbent judges.  As much as I like having a Democrat in the DA's office, it still worries me about a DA running a slate of candidates.  Talk about opening yourself up to accusations of judicial bias in favor of the DA's office.

    •  Ewing won for Dallas county chair at least! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bjssp

      I guess we can hope these nutbags who will be going into state government will be so ridiculous it will accelerate the transition of Texas to a swing state as more voters are turned off to a the last extremist elements of the GOP.

      Huffines taking Carona's district is definitely going to put it in play in 2018 and if population trends continue he'll be low-hanging fruit in 2022.

    •  How do you handle a post like this? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trowaman, bjssp, itskevin

      It's great analysis by trowman, but I don't really want to recommend it because it's (in his words) "a big pile of suck."

      I will recommend it anyway, but with the stipulation that I'm not at all happy about it.

      •  I think reccs can be for any number of reasons. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bythesea, gabjoh

        You like the fact that someone has highlighted something new or interesting, you like the analysis, you like the fact that someone is first, etc.

        That's the way that I look at them, at least.

        "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

        by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:36:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Does Texas have an open primary? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm wondering if a considerable number of Republicans crossed over and voted for Rogers to ratf**k Maxey.

      MI-8, 71, married, 7 children, 16 grandchildren, retired, independent but progressive

      by jimmich on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:05:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pryor: Cotton feels "entitled" to the Senate seat (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wadingo, ehstronghold, Mark27, jncca

    because of his military service.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/...

    Oops...

    •  Off-the-cuff statements like that... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, Mark27, KingTag, wadingo

      Are the exact opposite of what Pryor needs.

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:21:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Realize It's Easy To Slip Up And Say.... (0+ / 0-)

      ....the occasional dumb comment over the course of a long campaign, but it seems like if one had any filter in their brain at all it would kick in before something like that came out of their mouth.

    •  I've been thinking this for a while.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, sacman701

      but I think Pryor's political skills have atrophied. He hasn't faced a challenging election since 2002.

      TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

      by Le Champignon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:16:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What gives me hope is that Bill Maher (0+ / 0-)

        segment where he had Pryor on and he repeatedly denied evolution (I believe he, or perhaps it was the youtube commenters, later called Pryor the "dumbest senator").

        Doesn't make me super-happy, but hopefully he has some of that magic to appeal to the people of Arkansas. But this race is rapidly becoming my incumbent I'm least optimistic about (possibly counting both houses).

        "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive (not liberal) | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 | Yard signs don't vote. | $15 and a union!

        by gabjoh on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:26:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Texas primary poll (0+ / 0-)

    The poll may have been accurate at the time, if in fact it was taken before Alameel started advertising. Primaries are fluid and ads can move the numbers in a big way. Similarly, the 2012 cycle polls showing Sheyman ahead of Schneider in IL10 and Hannemann ahead of Gabbard in HI2 might not have been wrong when they were taken, even though they missed the final result by a mile.

    SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

    by sacman701 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:24:49 AM PST

  •  Et c'est parti! (And their off!) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisJohn, gabjoh

    Quebec Premier Pauline Marois calls a snap election. Quebeckers will be going to the polls on April 7th as the Parti Quebecois aims for a majority. (They are currently in a very weak minority government.)

    The Parti Quebecois who were looking DOA last year have staged a comeback in the polls thanks to their controversial proposed secular charter law which has been blocked by the Liberals and CAQ (Coalition Avenir Quebec).

    http://www.cbc.ca/...

    The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

    by ehstronghold on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:28:12 AM PST

    •  So is the NDP gonna be participating? (0+ / 0-)

      I know there were talks of them starting a Quebec branch, but is that still being planned, they're participating but not a real factor yet, or... Canadians, help a fan of Jack Layton (RIP) out?

      "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive (not liberal) | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 | Yard signs don't vote. | $15 and a union!

      by gabjoh on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:28:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

        Tom Mulcair and the NDP are sitting this out. While Mulcair prefers the provincial Liberals to win (he's a Federalist not a Separatist in sheep's clothing as Justin Trudeau and the Liberals like to claim), a lot of soft separatists voted for the NDP in 2011.

        Backing or at least saying the NDP supports the provincial Liberals would be political suicide. Though expect the federal Liberals to put Mulcair and the NDP on the spot frequently between now and April 7th and expect Justin Trudeau to hit the campaign trail for provincial Liberal candidates in Montreal as well.

        The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

        by ehstronghold on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:45:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's weird how NDP has no seats (0+ / 0-)

      In the Quebec National Assembly, and doesn't even bother to compete in them, while holding a vast majority of the House of Commons seats from Quebec.

      26, Practical Progressive Democratic Socialist (-9.38, -8.51), Gay, IN-02 - Defeat Wacky Jackie!

      by HoosierD42 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:06:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Would Grassley really want to be in a probably (0+ / 0-)

    Democratic senate to age 89?

  •  "The sad thing is, this tactic may actually work" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32

    I suspect you might be right. It reminds me of the backlash to pointing out some of the August 2009 town halls were GOP propaganda rallies. It looked bad when many people protesting had genuine concerns. Difficult situation.

    "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

    by conspiracy on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:36:47 AM PST

  •  AZ-07 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, gabjoh, DCCyclone

    State Senator Steve Gallardo who up until this point wasn't getting the national attention of Ruben Gallego, has come out as gay today. Would he be the first openly gay latino congressman if elected?

    http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/...

    CA-12, (-5.50, -6.77), originally CA-46

    by Jacques Kallis on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:42:28 AM PST

  •  CA-Controller: Fresno mayor will run for GOP (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ehstronghold, jj32, Jacob1145, jncca

    Republican mayor of Fresno Ashley Swearengin will run for state controller as the GOP's sacrificial lamb.

    http://blogs.sacbee.com/...

    The controller, currently held by John Chiang (who is running for state treasurer), is hosting a battle between two Democrats, state assembly speaker John Perez and Board of Equalization member Betty Yee.

    24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

    by kurykh on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:48:35 AM PST

  •  Two non-partisan South Carolina congressional maps (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skaje, KingofSpades, WisJohn

    I've been working on my first massive overhaul of my national non-partisan map impact diary from last April and when it comes to South Carolina I'm divided over these two maps of what a communities of interest commission might draw:
     photo SouthCarolina1VRAStateView_zps90afa472.png

     photo SouthCarolina1VRANon-PartisanMapCharleston6thStateView_zps43423c3a.png

    The first map draws an entirely rural/small town VRA district with the Charleston area kept whole, but the Pee Dee region split. The second keeps Charleston in the VRA district while the Beaufort area is preserved along with a Pee Dee region 7th. In terms of the partisan outcome, both sets guarantee Democrats the 2nd district which voted for Obama by about 3%, but in map 1 the May 2013 special election would have been a coinflip while in map 2 the districts have a similar partisanship to what they currently do. The only thing I have to go on from past maps is the federal court drawing the 2002 map, but that was simply a least change version of the map drawn in 1992 when Dems controlled the legislature but Republicans the governorship and that map screwed us out of beating Joe Wilson in 2008. Ultimately, I see zero reason that Columbia should be split and placed in the 6th. What do you guys think? Map 1 or Map 2?

    •  Good ad (0+ / 0-)

      Economy does not seem to be a strong point for Walker. Is he close at all to his 250k job goal?

      •  No. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gygaxian, itskevin, jj32, askew

        I believe there has only been about 100,000 jobs created under him...in 3 years. He would need an absolute miracle to get the 150,000 that he needs to keep his promise.

        Gay farm boy, 21, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -5.12, -1.74, "No tears. Remember the laughter, stories and good times we shared."- My dad (1959-2013).

        by WisJohn on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:41:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Economy not a weak point for him, either (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jj32

        Burke needs help from independent expenditures on this point.  Wisconsin voters don't perceive that Walker has failed on the economy.  Getting them to see that requires laying a foundation, which itself will require heavy and expensive messaging.  The Burke campaign alone can't do it, it needs to be parroted in earned media by surrogates and in attack ads by independent expenditure groups.  I don't know that the money is going to be there to do this.  It's a tough sell that takes a lot of sustained attacks.

        46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:06:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How can you be sure how voters (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MetroGnome, askew, James Allen

          feel about the economy under Walker?

          "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

          by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:07:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Polls (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bjssp

            Look at polls.

            Marquette Law in particular.  They're not doing monthly right now, but they're polling often enough to see exactly what people think.

            46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

            by DCCyclone on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 06:47:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  This is a strong ad (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn, IdahoSocialist, askew

      These are the exact themes that Walker is vulnerable on and which Burke is well-positioned to hit him for. Despite Walker's ambitious claims in 2010, the job market is poor and unemployment has not improved. Walker has the worst record of just about any incumbent governor right now, and very little going for him, except that unions made the in retrospect stupid move of instigating the recall and locking in his base of support and making him a conservative hero nationally. I honestly think that Walker would have been, politically, a dead man walking in his reelection prospects had we not gone through the ridiculously overzealous protest movement (which turned off a shit-load of moderate, buttoned up suburban voters in the Fox Valley and Milwaukee-Racine, as well as a lot of Democratic-voting, old-school liberal Republicans from the Driftless area), and the recall of the governor.

      But Burke is well-removed from that and from Doyle really, despite the RGA attack ads. She's well-connected and seems like a perfect candidate to make these criticisms of Walker convincing and win over suburbanites concerned with education and social issues.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:05:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More of this, please. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn

      "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

      by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:44:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The only complaint I have about Burke's ad (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JBraden, kleinburger

        is that it's not as good as ALG's ads, but that's sort of like saying a perfectly good car isn't a Porsche. Seriously, though, whichever group is doing ALG's ads needs to help all Democrats, because they are just about perfect.

        "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

        by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:54:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Is there a distinct accent in IL-13? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn

      I can vaguely hear an accent in both Callis and Davis's ads, but I can't quite place it, and it doesn't sound like a Chicago accent.

      Good ad for Callis though, much better than Rodney Davis' dead-eyed stare of an ad.

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:12:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Looks like a general election ad (0+ / 0-)

      I had an exchange with David here after her first ad where he pointed out she has a primary, but both her ads so far are really general election messaging.  They work with primary voters, sure, but they're not Democrat-centric at all.

      46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:14:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  National Journal Says Hillary Should Be.... (16+ / 0-)

    ....very, very worried about public backlash about Benghazi!

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/...

    I hope the GOP runs with it...or I should say keeps on running with this.

    •  also (12+ / 0-)

      Lewinsky.

      "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

      by James Allen on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:03:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, it's the issue that didn't stick to her (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      And the Benghazi obsession is ridiculous.  You see far-right twitterers even have a cancer ribbon customized for it and act like they're martyrs.

      “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

      by KingofSpades on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:22:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hmm... not a Fournier piece... (0+ / 0-)

      The Russia "reset" is much more of a potential problem for her than the Benghazi bullshit.

      "I know you cannot force people to care. Ukraine is far away for many, all have own problems. But even if cynical, realize problem will grow. It isn't only people like me, raised in a dictatorship, who don't want it to happen to others"-Gary Kasparov

      by LordMike on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:31:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Probably, but she has talked tough against Russia (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itskevin, LordMike

        for overplaying its hand.

        “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

        by KingofSpades on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:34:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Russia "Reset" Was Badly Thought Through (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike

        In theory it looked like a good idea - Russia had a new President who made liberal noises, was surrounded by liberal advisers, and the hope was that if the US built him up he could challenge Putin.

        In practice however that was the worst thing that could be done.The internal opposition always circles around the heir apparent which is why the job tenure of Russian/Soviet ones tends to be short. In effect Obama engaged in a campaign to undermine Putin domestically by turning his own protege against him. At worst, all he did was publicly snub Putin in favor of that protege.

        In any event not only was it unlikely to work - the project itself was designed to antagonize the person the US had to work with, namely Putin.

        Putin is not a nice guy, but "reset" as implemented would have offended any leader in the same circumstances, and resembled what Netanyahu tried to pull with Romney in 2012. And that ended poorly for him.

        A "reset" was a good idea. "Reset" was a disaster.

      •  My rule of thumb is... (0+ / 0-)

        if I don't know what you're talking about, the electoral implications of whatever you're talking about are negligible. And I don't know what you're talking about.

    •  What I've found really galling (5+ / 0-)

      is the lack of Republican awareness that well over a dozen "Benghazi's" happened under George Bush's tenure, and several happened under Clinton. Embassy attacks that kill American citizens have been all too common in the modern climate, especially since the CIA seems to insist on using official embassies for covert purposes, (some of the best investigations I've read on Benghazi highlight that muddled public response and the blame game going on was a matter of the state department not wanting to take responsibility for the CIA's mistakes).

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:08:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is so stupid (0+ / 0-)

      This is why I have limited respect for political journalists.  So much of this crap gets published and it's complete bullshit.  And there isn't an equivalent amount of conspicuously smart political journalism to offset it...at least not in the non-partisan realm.

      There are partisan sites on our side that are flat-out smarter.  I'm not sure they exist on the GOP side, but there at least are some smart individual writers.

      The GOP in particular is just really stupid on this Benghazi and IRS crap.  It would be one thing if it was just internet loons, but the fact that elected and party officials buy wholesale these nonsensical conspiracy theories and fake "scandals" really earns my total contempt.

      46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:02:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We need to trash AFP forever (10+ / 0-)

    I'm sick of this shit. These billionaires are buying elections left and right, outright lying just for the sake of their own money.

    We need to coin a new phrase, "Americans for the OWN Prosperity", and start running ads against them as if they were a candidate - everywhere. Connect AFP to whatever local politician they're trying to prop up (Tillis in NC, anyone?) and just crush these people. Drag their names deep into the mud. It serves to connect local politicians to out-of-state moneyed interests and also serve as a buffer against further AFP attacks.

    Probably not the best post for a digest, but eh, seeing the latest AFP ad just pushed me over the edge.

    TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

    by Le Champignon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:15:02 PM PST

    •  The fake "health care horror stories" (6+ / 0-)

      Those are the lowest of the low.  Literally EVERY one of their Obamacare "horror story" ads have been proven entirely false, and in most cases the person in the ad could actually benefit substancially from the law if they chose to.

    •  What's awful is that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, James Allen, JBraden, MetroGnome

      Boonstra is so completely poisoned by her own ideology she refuses to see how the ACA has made her life better and her care more affordable.

      It's actually pretty sad. I pity someone who hates someone else so much they use their own cancer as a weapon. Never mind that she has absolutely no idea on what to do about the millions of people who would lose their own insurance (including her ironically) if the ACA were to be repealed.

    •  The absolute worse (0+ / 0-)

      AFP even got involved with a trollish multi-millionaire in Detroit back in 2012 who got a ballot measure through which attempted to protect his bridge monopoly.  They placed fake evictions notices on poor people's doors in southwest Detroit, but they looked just real enough to cause panic.  The bridge monopoly ballot measure was soundly rejected.

      They have absolutely zero scruples.  I want oppo research done on these bastards and them taken out of business.  These third parties are out of control.  Even when they are defeated at the ballot box, they cause just enough a distraction to slow down all kinds of things.

  •  I messaged Metro Gnome about those AFP ads (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wadingo, itskevin, ArkDem14, JBraden

    and he says that most media in Michigan have fact-checked it from the conservative-tilting Detroit News to the centrist Bridge leftwards.

    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

    by KingofSpades on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:21:36 PM PST

  •  TX-Gov: Abbot 53, Davis 41 (5+ / 0-)

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/...

    It's razzlefrazzlemussen and all, but I don't think these numbers are all that bad, considering it is Texas. Check out the cross-tabs: Wendy's winning the female vote by a healthy margin, but the male vote is going for Abbot by 2:1.

    It's a small sample size, and again lolras, but it's still an interesting peek. I'd like to see a PPP poll.

    TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

    by Le Champignon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:22:24 PM PST

    •  Texas Dem floor (8+ / 0-)

      Bill White got 42% in 2010, Sadler 41% against Cruz in 2012 so these numbers are very believable.

      CA-12, (-5.50, -6.77), originally CA-46

      by Jacques Kallis on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:28:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, I'd believe it but for the source. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingofSpades, bythesea, Setsuna Mudo

        "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

        by James Allen on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:31:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sure.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Avenginggecko, MetroGnome

        but usually you don't poll at your floor, you poll a little under it.

        TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

        by Le Champignon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:35:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Radnofsky (D) got 36% in 2006 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DCCyclone, KingTag

        running against Sen. Hutchison.  I'm not so certain our floor is over the 40s yet.  Against Perry I had no doubt Davis would have at least gotten 42%, and maybe even hit 45%.  But Abbot seems broadly popular...I worry he can break 60%.

      •  If Wendy is polling at 41 now (4+ / 0-)

        And ends the election with, say, 46% or so in a midterm, that trend line should be a cause for concern for Republicans for 2018.

        •  She won't get 46 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KingTag

          If she's down 12 now for real, which is plausible, she'll lose by double-digits, low 40s.

          46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:57:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think she gets higher than whites 42 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Le Champignon
          •  I don't follow the logic (0+ / 0-)

            What you're saying is, eight months away from the general election, in a state that hasn't had competitive statewide elections since the early nineties, with a burgeoning but inactive voting population, that only recently had any form of money or effort being poured into it...

            That a single poll, conducted by a firm that is known to lean rightward, using a sketchy likely-voter model that almost certainly undercounts Democratic strength...

            Will actually understate the margin by which the Democrat is doomed to defeat?

            Far out.

            Point being, no one really knows what's going on in this race right now because Texas is currently in flux. This is the first time in decades that a competitive candidate has emerged with major national party support, both in terms of money and in grassroots effort. I can't wait to see how much of a dent this will make in the Republican domination of the state.

            But anyone who makes any definitive statements about Texas politics right now, except that it's trending Democrat* in the long term, has some serious balls.

            *Note: Not necessarily that Texas will turn blue in the long term, but that it's moving to the left and will continue to do so even if it stays right-leaning. Think North Carolina.

            TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

            by Le Champignon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:14:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, the grassroots efforts (0+ / 0-)

              are going to have to do a heck of a lot better of turning out voters than in the primary, though that wasn't seriously contested statewide on the Democratic side, at least not at the top of the ticket.

              A 12-point margin seems about right to me; there likely isn't any primary "bounce" as neither Davis nor Abbott had serious competition.  Davis might not run significantly behind that margin (about 56-44 minus undecideds) but it's hard to see her improving on it much minus some epic GOP mistakes.

              38, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

              by Mike in MD on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:21:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  In fairness (0+ / 0-)

                Even I didn't bother to vote in the primary. It was a done deal. Neither my rep, my senator, my Democratic candidate for Congress, my gubernatorial or LT Gov candidates faced any serious challenges, and I couldn't care less who decides to commit suicide against Big John Cornyn.

                TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

                by Le Champignon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:30:44 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Democrats have made strong runs in Texas (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NMLib, Avenginggecko

              since 1994.  Just, none of them have come close to winning.

              2010: Houston mayor Bill White ran for governor (lost 42-55).

              2006: Former congressman Chris Bell ran for governor (lost 30-39 with two serious independent candidates)

              2002: Dallas mayor Ron Kirk ran for senate (lost 43-55).

    •  Realistic (0+ / 0-)

      These numbers look believable.  Texas is a red state and a tough state to track, but a Dem gubernatorial candidate can pull in a good 40% of the vote.

      Barring scandal, it seems likely to me if she runs a good (not great) campaign, she's uniquely positioned to maybe grow this a handful more points.  If she runs a great campaign and Abbott is caught up in some type of scandal, this could conceivably be a truly competitive.  I'd certainly not count on that happening, but it's plausible in a way previous Dem candidacies were not.

      I'd be interested to see numbers in future polls broken down by region to see where she could grow her constituency.  I'd also like to see how she's doing with hispanics.

  •  FL-13: Alex Sink final ad: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, David Nir, DCCyclone, GloFish, JBraden

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    The mention of flood insurance is a poignant local issue, IIRC.  

    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

    by KingofSpades on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:31:22 PM PST

  •  I don't really see how Westchester is swingy; (3+ / 0-)

    except maybe in comparison to New York as a whole (it's typically D+0), but New York is solidly Democratic and so is Westchester. Nationally, it's not just Democratic, but solidly so, with both Kerry and Obama in both campaigns doing 10 points better there than nationally, making it a reliable D+10 county. Locally, even Thomas DiNapoli won it 50-48 in his unexpectedly close 2010 campaign, and Eric Schneiderman won it 56-44. Gillibrand won it 60-39 that year, despite the Republican wave and being up against a (much removed) former Westchester Congressman.

    Other than for Pataki (and in the only competent campaign put up against him, incumbent Governor Mario Cuomo's 1994 reelection campaign, Pataki only won his political base 50-48), only Westchester county has only voted for Republicans twice in the past 2 decades of elections. In 1994 (when it was more Republican than it is today), when it voted for Vasco for AG by a margin of .3%, and 1992 when D'Amato won the county with 51.5% of the vote in root to a third term.

    Other than these two cases, only two other Republicans have even broken 44% in statewide races in the county: Rick Lazio at 47% in 2000, and DiNapoli's opponent who got 48% in 2010. It just seems like a straight up and down the ticket, Democratic leaning county, and one that looks like it shouldn't have severe dropoff in voter turnout. I still can't quite understand how Astorino wasn't defeated for reelection; because that's what tends to happen to accidental pieces of wave election driftwood, and Astorino is so mismatched, it's the equivalent of Indiana electing say, someone like Sherrod Brown and then reelecting him.

    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

    by ArkDem14 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:37:26 PM PST

    •  I can imagine dropoff hurts there a lot (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, gabjoh

      the county is under 60% white VAP, over 20% Hispanic, and 13% black. Factor in an odd-numbered year and I doubt the electorate there in 2013 voted for Obama by more than low double digits. Otherwise though I agree that the county is Democratic leaning, but in comparison to New York state it's pretty much the biggest swing county going by recent statewide elections. Still that isn't saying much when they have a poor track record of winning it and the state.

    •  It's much more Republican down ballot. (0+ / 0-)

      Of course, after 2008, there were some local Republicans who became Democrats.

      "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

      by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:48:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is it really though? (0+ / 0-)

        Yonkers started going Democratic in the early 80s, and has no become reliably so in all but the lowest turnout local elections. There are a few areas in the northern part of the county more rock-ribbed in their Republican allegiance, some even at the Presidential level still, but that doesn't change how far Republicans have fallen even in mostly white cities like New Rochelle.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:10:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not a huge contrast. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ArkDem14

          I probably overstated it a little. They are just more open to voting for Republicans for county stuff and some state legislative seats. It goes back and forth. Astorino beat Spano, but before that Democrats held the County Exec seat since 1997. The Republicans won the county legislature back recently, too.

          There's also been some party switching. Janet DeFiore, the Democratic DA, was a Republican until 2007. Michael Spano, current mayor of Yonkers, was a Republican in the State Assembly before he switched. There's probably more.

          "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

          by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 11:01:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  After 5 years of following politics, Orrin Hatch's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, Jacob1145, gabjoh

    presidential campaign still puzzles me. Why on earth did he run for president? He didn't really have much of a base, he wasn't well-known, I refuse to believe that his polling showed him winning, and he had no major issues to campaign on. Was it ego? If not, I just don't get it.

    Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

    by Gygaxian on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:50:48 PM PST

    •  When did Orrin Hatch run for President? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, gabjoh

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:11:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It was Lugar 1996 or Graham 2004 (5+ / 0-)

      On paper a moderate elder statesman with impeccable credentials running against far more vapid opposition should have had a degree of appeal. In practice, the primary process is not about being on the Sunday Morning shows, its a test of the executive ability to put together a team, raise and oversee the spending of money, and to manage competing egos. There is a reason why Senators generally fail at it, and even those who are more successful end up having highly dysfunctional campaigns - McCain 2007/2008, Hillary 2008, Kerry 2004 - Obama avoided it by and large by being in the Senate only a short-time and not being the typical Sunday show hound.

      Lugar and Graham(and Hunstman though not a senator) had all the flaws of those campaigns without any of the benefits of those candidates. Hence they went nowhere.

      •  I think it's more just public appeal (0+ / 0-)

        These people wouldn't do any better running for President as Governors.  They just don't have the personal appeal to get voters to vote for them.

        Also, GOP voters in particular respond to established personal branding.  Every nominee either ran for President before, or came from GOP political royalty a.k.a. "Bush."  The nominees all have had an established personal brand based on those things.

        Democratic voters are different, most nominees in fact never ran before.  Gore was an exception.  Hillary would be if she runs.  And current or former Senators routinely win the nomination on our side.

        46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:55:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Presidential also-rans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, James Allen

      excluding the odd congressmen that run, look at all these statewide elected or formerly elected officials that thought they had a chance:

      2012 (R): Gary Johnson, Buddy Roemer

      2008 (D): Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson
      2008 (R): Fred Thompson, Sam Brownback, Tommy Thompson

      2004 (D): Carol Mosely Braun, Bob Graham

      2000 (D): Bill Bradley

      1996 (R): Lamar Alexander, Phill Gramm, Richard Lugar

      1992 (D): Douglas Wilder, Eugene McCarthy, Tom Harkin

      There's an old joke about the Senate being 100 people that wake up every morning and see a future president in the mirror.  Plenty more among Governors, ex-senators, ex-governors, etc.

  •  Interesting article on how we held the VA Senate (6+ / 0-)
    •  I think that's about half right (4+ / 0-)

      judging from the special election results.  The result in VA-33 (Wexton) was impressive, with a landslide win in an often-marginal district for someone who had never held elective office.  But in VA-6 (Lewis), it seems to me that if their efforts were so great they should have produced more than a bare 11-vote margin for someone who had been a delegate for a decade in a district that leans Democratic by design.  (And then they dropped Lewis' House seat, though that understandably might not have been seen as all that important by comparison given the GOP's wide margin of control there.)

      38, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

      by Mike in MD on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:37:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jesus Christ (23+ / 0-)

    Just watched the opening segment of the local news on NBC, and it was basically just a pro-Astirino circle jerk of the highest order. They start out with his announcement video and then say that "our recent poll shows that there may be trouble for Andrew Cuomo." They then show the poll, which shows Cuomo with 65% of the vote, and tried to spin it as Astirino having room to grow because he only has 25%. I'm no Cuomo fan, but that is either horribly delusional, outright manipulative, or both. Anyone with 65% of the vote in polling will not lose, barring said person kicking a puppy on live television and laughing about it (and even then they still might win).

    Gay suburbanite in NJ-11

    by interstate73 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 03:09:48 PM PST

    •  I watched Fox News in an ER waiting room today. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBraden

      It was fairly torturous, at least before I tried to view it like I was completing a thesis on propaganda.

      I'm quite amazed they are still going on about the IRS "scandal" and how Darrell Issa acts like he's just some sort of innocent detective trying to find the truth. Fuck him.

      "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

      by bjssp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:51:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I noticed a few rural counties where I did not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen

    see any votes cast in the Dem primary. Is this common that no one cast any Dem primary votes or is it a reporting error. I count Armstrong, Borden, Callahan, Cochran, Collingsworth, Dallam, Dickens, Glasscock, Hansford, Hartley, Kimble, Lynn, McCulloch, McMullen, Mills, Moore, Oldham, Roberts, Shackelford, Throckmorton, and Yoakum as having no Dem primary votes cast.

    "So there's a time for silence, and there's a time for waiting your turn. But if you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say, you'll know it. I don't think you should wait. I think you should speak now." -Taylor Swift

    by SouthernINDem on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 03:15:36 PM PST

  •  More 2016 Pres polling... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gabjoh

    http://www.foxnews.com/...

    Fox has a poll out showing HRC ~50% against everyone, leading double digits against the entire clown car. This same poll found Obama at -16% disapprove. I'm starting to feel that, much like with Obamacare, much of Obama's disapproval comes from the left, which explains why these same people are overwhelmingly willing to support HRC instead of a Republican.

    If it were a legitimate backlash from the right, they'd be supporting the right-wing candidate. They're not - overwhelmingly not. Man, I wouldn't want to be a Republican in 2016...

    TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

    by Le Champignon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 03:34:29 PM PST

    •  I dont think disapproval is from the left (5+ / 0-)

      I think the discrepancy is because people might not support Obama, because of his handling of healthcare, economy, etc, but they still support Democratic ideas(minimum wage increase, universal pre-K, higher taxes on the wealthy, etc) and they also like the GOP less.

      I'm not trying to underestimate the GOP, but I think after Christie, the presidential field isnt so great.

      I do wish we could see a rebound in Obama's approval.

      Obama at around 50% in 2016 + Clinton running, and it will be very difficult for the GOP to win.

      •  I agree with that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        and I remember mentioning awhile back that Clinton's greatest electoral strength in 2016 might actually be that she represents a break from Obama, rather than a continuation.  I think this is why Biden (if he were our 2016 nominee) gets hammered by Republicans in these early polls, whereas Clinton is so dominant.  There's no other rational reason why Clinton would win by 10 but Biden would lose by the same amount to Christie.

      •  I think it's more Hillary's brand than the party's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jj32, Setsuna Mudo, LordMike

        Hillary has a personal brand that is the strongest it's ever been.  That's why she polls so well.

        And yet, if she runs and gets elected, it definitely also makes Obama look good in retrospect.  Having the same party succeed a two-term President really helps cement his image, it really validates.  It's an understated reason why Reagan's image inflated in retirement beyond what it was during his Presidency.

        46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:21:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's something (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, bythesea

      of an outlier.  Nobody else (not even the Gallup tracker) has had approval below 38% in some time.  Three or four months ago I could believe that.

      38, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

      by Mike in MD on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:13:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They need to get over the healthcare thing, there (0+ / 0-)

    were issues in October and November, huge ones, but it's been much better since.

  •  Gallup: John Kerry's favorability increase (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, KingofSpades, James Allen

    Despite some of the foreign policy struggles the Obama admin has had, Kerry's favorability is up for the last year, 55-34, from 48-35. This dynamic is very interesting to me.

    A large reason for the drop in Bush's popularity in his second term was foreign policy, particularly Iraq, and yet Condi Rice had strong favorables.

    Clinton's strong approvals are in part because of her tenure as Secretary of State.

    It really does show the benefits of being out of the partisan fight.  

    •  this is amusing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itskevin, jj32, DCCyclone

      because it seems like there's been a lot more controversy around his tenure so far compared to the previous SOS.

      "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

      by James Allen on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:25:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't give this much weight (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        I think public opinion of a Secretary of State when we're not at war (and Afghanistan is barely a "war" anymore) is going to be soft and mostly apathetic, and polling isn't worth that much.  The "difference" across polls there looks like noise to me.

        46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:19:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  PA-GOV: Wolf airing out his dirty laundry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DCCyclone

    Tom Wolf the frontrunner for the Dem primary and GE in PA opened up about his past relationships with some sketchy politicians including one who was convicted for murder and other who went to prison for six counts of corruption. I have to say Wolf is smart for putting this out himself and getting on top of it early before it comes out later and from someone else.

    •  This really is smart (0+ / 0-)

      This stuff's gonna come out, he can get out in front of the media and his opponents on it.

      I don't know what to think of these associations, his response on supporting the racist York Mayor seems insufficient.  Did he just not know the guy well enough to know he was racist?  Having the first black York Mayor support him really helps, but he still doesn't sufficiently answer the charge directly.

      His answer on the other guy is more direct and comes off as sincere.  It's actually hard to fault him, his tone is very good there, at least as the words appear in print.

      46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:18:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  did obama purposefully nominate adegbile (0+ / 0-)

    so that dems in precarious positions in 2014 could have an opportunity to prove that they're "not an obama rubber stamp" etc.?

    formerly demographicarmageddon

    by bonzo925 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:53:54 PM PST

  •  I'm working on the last details for my next (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, Stephen N

    Oregon Political Geography post, focusing on the coast. Is there anything anyone would like to see in particular in it?

    "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

    by James Allen on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:24:28 PM PST

    •  Trends in the coastal cities would be interesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bjssp

      I mean the bigger ones, like Coos Bay and Astoria.

      Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:09:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you're not concerned with (0+ / 0-)

        Nehalem, pop. 267?

        All the data I have on every incorporated city on the coast except one will be in there. For some coastal cities that's just 2012. For Coos Bay it's just '04 and '08. For a few I have 2000-2012.

        "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

        by James Allen on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:31:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  somewhat elections related - anyone on here (0+ / 0-)

    think that Hillsdale College seems somewhat cult-ish? I've never set foot on their campus but my RW grandparents always mail me their newsletter called "Imprimis" which sounds like a John Birch Society pamphlet.

    formerly demographicarmageddon

    by bonzo925 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:57:33 PM PST

  •  4 District Courts got a full bench after today (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoosierD42, Skaje, askew, James Allen

    The E.D. of TN is now 3-2 GOP nominee among the active judges, 3-0 GOP among those on senior status.
    The W.D. of AR is now 3-0 Dem (all Obama's) with a 2-1 Dem nominee among the judges on senior status.
    The Puerto Rico district court is now 4-3 GOP and 2-2 tied among the senior status judges.
    The N.D. of CA is now 14-1 Dem nominees (!) and 5-4 GOP among the senior judges (though a Ford nominee is seemingly essentially retired).

    Next up, AZ (the bench looks very lonely right now)?

    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

    by KingofSpades on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:12:29 PM PST

  •  The House had a vote (0+ / 0-)

    on delaying the fine for failing to comply with the insurance mandate of the ACA.

    There were 27 Dem defections, and just 1 GOP defection (Broun, lol).

    The Democrats were:

    Barber
    Barrow
    Bera
    Brownley
    Bustos
    Duckworth
    Enyart
    Gabbard
    Gallego
    Garamendi
    Garcia
    Kuster
    Lipinski
    Maffei
    Matheson
    McIntyre
    Murphy
    Nolan
    Owens
    Peters (CA)
    Peters (MI)
    Peterson
    Rahall
    Ruiz
    Shea-Porter
    Sinema
    Vela

    If anyone needed any more evidence that Dem leadership is playing catch and release to shore up vulnerable freshmen Dems, here ya go.  Fully 18 of the 27 are freshmen.  No one can look at this list and think Shea-Porter voted like this for anything other than political reasons.  Then you've got the 7 actual conservatives, and you've nearly described every single person on this list.

    I'm sure the main page is ready to start calling for primary challenges to get these "conservaDems" out...yeah I'm sure it's no coincidence that just about every single freshman Democrat in a swingy seat is a "conservaDem".  Duckworth, Ruiz, Kuster, Brownley, Nolan...all of them just as bad as Gene Taylor, lol.  It's so obvious.

    But for real now...screw Dan Lipinski.  That guy is an absolute waste.

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